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This was submitted as an idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. VOSD members will vote on the best ideas and on Sept. 19 we’ll announce six contenders (Not a member? Join now to vote). At Politifest on Sept. 29, each of the six finalists will have five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel. The panel rates the ideas and two finalists advance. The crowd at Politifest will vote on a winner. The winner will receive an “idea-inspired” trophy custom-designed by former City Councilwoman Donna Frye. VOSD CEO Scott Lewis will also write about the winner’s idea.

When California deregulated electricity in 1997, many Californians switched to buy “green”energy. After the energy crisis of 2000-01, consumer choice of electricity providers was suspended. Most Californians now get their electricity from the same few utilities that provided it before deregulation. Through a new law passed in 2002 called “Community Choice Aggregation,” California now offers an opportunity for communities to once again choose their electric provider, their source of electricity, encourage non-polluting and renewable sources, and regain control over their retail electric rates.

By forming a CCA, California now lets communities form cooperatives for the bundled purchase of electricity. A CCA program can transmit renewable energy to consumers along public utility power lines, while administering energy efficiency and conservation programs.

What does Community Choice Aggregation “look like”?

Although this law was passed in 2002, Marin County has the only operational CCA in the state, though San Francisco and others may be online by the time of this event. Marin’s program is administered by a not-for-profit agency. The CCA offers businesses and residents:

• flexible electricity rates for partial or full commitment to renewable energy

• refunds for solar energy system purchases

• rebates to defray costs of energy efficiency upgrades, and

• credits for those who generate more electricity than they consume.

Why does San Diego need CCA?

Community Choice Aggregation is the best way to increase San Diegans’ access to affordable renewable energy and to develop San Diego’s capacity to produce renewable energy. CCA formation is the best tool available for local governments to promote environmental sustainability. Renewable energy is the alternative to dirty and non-renewable coal, “natural” gas (yay — more fracking!), nuclear plants (like Fukushima Daiichi and San Onofre), and pipelines filled with toxic tar sands, which are expensive to ratepayers and dangerous to the environment.

Jamie Edmonds submitted this idea to the Politifest 2012 Idea Tournament. Join us on Sept. 29!

Jamie Edmonds

The noblest motive is the public good. ~Virgil. If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it. ~Kofi Annan. The...

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